Activist groups the Liberal Democrats and Revolutionary Freedom Fighters, as well as three pro-democracy activists, have filed an application at the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe seeking permission to appear before the apex court. The activists are challenging the actions of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) in November which resulted in the fall of former president Robert Mugabe. The activists have emphasized that they do not want the events of November to be reversed but they want the Court to declare that the actions of the ZDF were unconstitutional as they deployed themselves without the commander-in-chief’s authority.
Part of the court papers filed by activist Vusumuzi Sibanda read:
I do not seek the reversal of what took place leading to the resignation of the fifth respondent (Mugabe) and the inauguration of the first respondent (Mnangagwa). I am seeking the restoration of the rule of law, the supremacy of the Constitution, the declaration and the condemnation of constitutional infringements and the separation of powers of the executive, the judiciary and the legislature.
The current scenario in Zimbabwe poses a serious threat to democracy in that, he who led (second respondent, Chiwenga) on November 14 to 21, 2017 was later seen at a Zanu PF extraordinary congress in December and was later elevated to the position of Vice-President.
Retired Chief Air Marshal Perrance Shiri and Retired Lieutenant General Sibusiso Moyo were appointed Ministers of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs respectively by the first respondent. Such was the violation of the Constitution by the first, second and third respondents (Mnangagwa, Chiwenga and Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).
The other activists are Linda Masarira and Bongani Nyathi. The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.
Last year on the day when President Emmerson Mnangagwa was inaugurated, High Court judge Justice George Chiweshe declared that the actions of the military were “constitutionally permissible and lawful” and also declared that former president Robert Mugabe’s decision to fire Mnangagwa from being a Vice-President was null and void.